Drive sober campaign honors Deutscher family killed in crash

By  | 

BISMARCK, N.D. - From now until Sept. 4 there will be more law enforcement officers on the roads looking for impaired drivers.

It's a part of a "Driver Sober Or Get Pulled Over Enforcement campaign.

This year the campaign is honoring a family of three who were killed in a crash with a drunk driver five years ago.

The second weekend in July 2012.

That weekend the Deutscher family was supposed to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary, and a reunion.

"We were just waiting around that afternoon for them to, to arrive," said Tom Deutscher.

They were waiting for their son Aaron, his pregnant wife Allison, and granddaughter Brielle, on their way from Fargo to Bismarck.

"Arlene and I sat at the table, and we said something. Something is wrong," said Tom.

Instead of celebrating that weekend, they grieved.

The family of three was killed on I-94 when a drunk driver going the wrong direction hit them head on.

"Even after five years, the pain is still there. It never goes away," said Arlene Deutscher, Aaron's mother.

But the Deutscher's family's grief turned into a will to change.

Along with Allsion's parents, they hosted events, raised money, and spoke at schools around the state to bring awareness to drunk driving.

"Found out that the laws on the books, they were very minor. Not much more than a slap on the back. We ended up going after some drunk driving legislation and penalties," said Lynn Mickelson, Allison's father.

It ended up with Brielle's law, which was named after their granddaughter.

A tougher DUI law on the books.

The family wants to make sure no one has to go through what they went through.

"It's been five years and the pain never goes away. And like Arlene said the message is clear. Just don't do it," said Tom.

According to the North Dakota Department of Transportation, 2016 had the lowest number of alcohol related vehicle deaths in 10 years.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol, several county sheriff's offices and Bismarck, Mandan and Lincoln police departments will be participating in the campaign.